So….yeah

Remember in my last post when I said something to the effect of “hey, I took a break but now I’m back every Saturday” yada yada yada..?  Well, as you can probably tell, I didn’t post last Saturday and it is very late in the evening on a Tuesday now when I finally started to write this one. And I will admit, I felt so angry at myself for not posting on Saturday even though I had every intention of doing so. So what happened? And more importantly, why would I even be upset about it?

Well last weekend, my oldest daughter celebrated her birthday and we had a small party for her and a couple friends. It really wasn’t anything major and everyone had fun and there was great conversation. (Bonus, the house still looked clean when everyone left!) After the kids went to sleep I pulled out my laptop and started blogging about the day and how great it was. It really started out as a great post that was full of emotion, reflection and motherhood. I wrote about half of it and decided to step away to get myself something to drink and that’s when my husband showed me some houses (we are moving soon). Of course we jumped in that rabbit hole and looked at so many houses and I completely forgot I even wrote anything.

The next morning, I realized I didn’t post anything and thought ‘no big deal, a post a day late is fine with me’. But Sunday somehow became one thing after another and yet again I forgot to not just finish the post, but I forgot half of what I was going to write. So I went to bed yet again remembering that I still didn’t post.

Yesterday and today, I worked on commissions. Almost entirely for both days. I went to a friend’s house because she was also working on orders so we had our kids play together so we could work. And work we did. I’m done with a crochet doll that takes forever and was able to work on some individual sketches. But it wasn’t until tonight that I forced myself to sit and finish the blog post. Well, I started a new one technically.

So there are the reasons, so why am I mad? It’s not like I wasn’t doing anything or that I just sat around for three days not caring. So there really isn’t a reason, right? Well, I hold myself to a standard with only a few things in my life. And keeping up with my creative outlets is one of them. I like blogging a lot. It helps me write, even when I haven’t written anything in my novel. I do expect myself to sit for an hour and write once a week about something because it’s not an unrealistic goal. But I also live a lifestyle that has a husband, 5 children, 2 dogs, homeschooling, working from home and  being a housewife. Sometimes those goals are easily over shadowed and even though I  feel great about staying on top of my proprietors, I still get upset when I don’t accomplish those personal goals. It’s so easy to lose yourself in taking care of others all the time. Seeing someone’s gratitude and appreciation for your hard work is a wonderful feeling and is something to be happy about. But when you set goals for yourself, to improve yourself or your own ability, and then don’t have the time to meet that goal, it can feel frustrating and a bit of a let down. But something I have learned and striving to remember, is that its not a failure. Its not a set back. Its a pause. I can pick up things relatively back up where they once were, may not be easy, but its reasonable and perfectly okay. When the time comes, and I can get my goals completed, I like to take a bit of time to appreciate what I’ve done for myself.

So if you can relate, then high five, because it’s nice to know we aren’t alone!

 

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My oils are here

My allergies have been so terrible lately and over the counter meds mess with my heart arrhythmia so I use essential oils to get the job done. My allergies leave me tired and with a massive headache which drags me down during the day and even more so with my art work. Which one, isn’t good as a stay at home mom and two, not good with I have a monthly commitment to my patrons on my Patreon page.

So once I got inside, I assembled my ‘Synergy’ blend (I blend my oils to names of fighting roles from Final Fantasy…yes, I am just that cool) for my allergy relief and dropped some lemon and tea tree in my diffuser. Took all of 20 minutes for my allergies to go away. I don’t mean to ease, I meant they actually went away. I blew my nose one last time and got to work around the house (meaning I cleaned because it hasn’t really been kept up with). I pocketed my newly made roller bottle and felt much better than I had been in the last few days.

I also use local raw honey and chamomile tea to relieve allergies. So after all my natural self medication, I was feeling back to normal. Which couldn’t come at a better time because I have a drawing to get done for this month’s patrons.

If you are curious about the oils I use they are as follows:

(Please, if you are interested in oils, do your research. There are some oils that are considered ‘hot’ oils that can irritate the skin. And with anything that you are using to help strength or help your body, be smart. Even western medicines have precautions. It is highly recommended that you ask and learn about oils before jumping in to them. And if you want to ask me anything, I will be more than happy to answer as best as I can)

Peppermint

Lavender

Lemon

Oregano

Coconut carrier oil

 

I wrote down the exact measurements in my journal but I am already snuggled in my blanket for the night. I didn’t use a lot of oregano but I wanted to add that in there because it can help fight off bacteria and I have had so many sinus infections that started out from just simple allergies. Lemon also helps with that, Lavender helps with calming anything that inflamed and peppermint helps open up passages. These could vary from person to person also, so like I said before, do your research, and be wise with oils just like you are with over the counter meds.

All of the oils I use are Young Living brand and they haven’t let me down yet! Especially their stress away blend, if there is any oil you try from this company, I recommend that if you need some relaxation in your life. I like to make bath/shower fizzy bombs with it for anyone that orders a kit from me. They are 98% in stock at my house, unless my husband and kids sneak them all! But why wouldn’t they!

 

Interested in becoming a Young Living member? Click here

Here is the link to my Patreon page!

Keep up with my YouTube videos!

February Patreon designs!

Hello readers!

Some of you know about my Patreon page and how I have been working to build it up and establish proper reward tiers that are practical for me to create and ship every month and also something enjoyable for my supporters. I feel like I have finally got to that point.

For a long time I would look at the rewards I set up and feel overwhelmed. I knew exactly why too. I was researching other successful artists on Patreon to see why they were successful and what they were offering their patrons and then I would try to match that our come up with something like it. Some were offering original paintings to at least 20 patrons on top of prints for many more. Lots of tutorials and daily videos and even one on one chats. It was a lot and my initial reward tiers seemed were not what I could handle.

It took me about a month or changing the reward tiers to finally be happy with what I have. Its a good set up, in my opinion, and its practical for my lifestyle. Raising and homeschooling kids on top of being a wife makes the artist in me compete for time. But I know I’m able to produce at least one inspirational piece and coordinating stickers. My husband likes to take over the house and kids and let me ‘art’ as he likes to say, a couoke times a week. Without his full support, I don’t really get what I’d like to get done. Thanks honey. 🙂

So without further ado, I present to you the Patreon reward tiers by Madelyn Janelle

 

Tip Jar $1 -here is where you get access to exclusive patron only posts, work in progress photos (aka WIP) and a 15% discount code to my create space store for ALL coloring book purchases.

Line Art $2- The coloring pages I offer for free on this site have a watermark, but my patrons in this tier get them without the watermark. They also get real time video clips up to 10 minutes of a drawing or painting, tutorials, art tips, q&a, influence over next months picture and brand comparisons. They also get previous rewards!

Sticker pack $6- you’ll get 3-6 stickers that average about 2.5 inches in diameter that coordinate with that months design! Plus all previous rewards!

Just the print $15- this is just the print off the month. It will be 4×6 size, like a postcard, and will come with a sturdy cardstock frame. Includes all previous rewards, except the sticker pack.

You’ve got mail $20- this is the whole shebang! Includes everything in previous rewards PLUS a handwritten thank you note from me in every package letting you know your rewards are handled with appreciation and care!!

So what do you guys think? Honestly I love the idea of stickers! And they are high quality vinyl and perfect for anything. All designs will be available to patrons first and any left over will be sold in my shop or sold at fairs. If you choose to support me, even with just one dollar, you have my sincerest gratitude and I really appreciate it. 🙂

Click here to be taken to my Patreon page!

Don’t forget to watch my YouTube videos for more artwork!

The challenge has started

[Featured image is my drawing and painting from days 2&3 from the daily challenge! Check out my Instagram for more detail on this image!]

I decided this year to make a resolution to challenge me to become a better artist. I am to draw everyday, nothing too elaborate and time consuming but a good sketch that I spend at least an hour on everyday. The goal of this has many angles to it. I want to become a better artist, I want to make sure I spend at least an hour everyday to myself doing something I enjoy, to show my kids that mommy has more ambitions than a clean house, to make my art into more than just a hobby, etc. The list really does go on because there are so many positives to taking on a 365 day drawing challenge, but I won’t bore you with every detail.

If you want to see the pictures, I post them everyday on Instagram and Facebook! I have also updated my Patreon rewards to include discount codes, tutorials, fan art, original prints, stickers and more! The rewards are for those who want to get to know me as an artist better, help the aspiring artist or just want to show their support! Make sure you check it out and spread the word to your friends!

Take a look at the menu on my site and you’ll notice more categories such as blog post, free coloring pages and a shop! The shop has my links for my coloring books and to a new account on Threadless where my designs can be printed on blankets, shirts and bags! I will add a new design every month so don’t forget to check back!

There are a lot of good things happening this year and I am to share it with you!

 

The most nostalgic Christmas

Today is the last day of 2016. Some of you are reflecting on the year and feeling many emotions over it. Maybe it was really successful and you accomplished more than you expected and maybe you didn’t realize the year was ending and wished you had more time. You may also not care at all about the fact that a new year is approaching because its just another way for you to spend all of January (or the first half of 2017) accidently writing 2016 on everything. Whatever your feeling may be on the subject, I will still tell you happy New Years Eve and I hope 2017 is a great year for you.

I typically spent New Years thinking about all the good things that happened to me or the lessons I had to learn, with either life or general knowledge, and talk about them with others and listen to their stories as well. But as I reflected on 2016 there is one thing that holds my heart more than anything.

When I was a kid I lost most of my childhood toys. Under very sad circumstances, I was left with just a few things to show my kids that I had from growing up. Not every toy had a special meaning but a few did and unfortunately, those were the few I would never see again. I would tell stories about them a lot to my kids and husband and they thought they were so cool, because they were! A couple of those was a Tuggabows doll I would call ‘Big Head’ because when I was little, she was so big and had a very heavy head that was covered in yarn hair, and an orange towel like blanket that folded in the middle into a pillow and zipped up. The blanket had a flower embroidered on it with the word flower underneath it. A Japanese girl scout who spoke very little English gave it to me and also took me out for a day to see what the Japanese culture was like with her family.

Yeah, I told you they were cool. So this year, during our many Christmas’s at multiple families homes, my husband decided to give me my presents before we got back home. We were at his parent’s house and it was pure chaos. There were 18 of us there with only 17 unwrapping gifts (the 18th was still sleeping and growing in my sister in law’s belly! (;  ) and my husband hands me two big bags and says, ‘Here’. I knew he had been up something and he isn’t a mushy romantic, he’s more like an awkward romantic, it’s really cute. So after he hands me the bag, he steps back and watches me open the gifts. I pulled out a pillow that had a sunflower print all over it and realized it unfolded from the pouch into an orange blanket. I stood stunned and looked at him and my eyes started to water. Before I could say anything else he pointed to the other bag that had a Lalaloopsy doll with a head full of yarn hair. I smiled and laughed to myself and had to hug him. He had no idea what he was looking for when he was buying me those things but he wanted to do something for my old childhood self. And I can tell you now, she was very happy!

When I think of 2016 and my accomplishments, hardships, lessons learned, and fun times had, I am happy to be where I am now. But those few minutes over Christmas when I was standing in a living room that wasn’t my own, mother of 5 children, holding a doll and blanket that my husband bought for me, I felt blessed and elated. It was truly the best Christmas I had ever had.

Are you done wiping your eyes? Because I still tear up when I think about this and it was almost a whole week ago when it happened! But that’s what floods my memories and heart when I spend time reflecting on 2016. I am truly grateful for other things, my kids scoring high academically, publishing 2 coloring books, starting a blog, getting a novel half written, spending time with my husband, expanding  my art career and so much more. There were a lot of hardships also, but the way I handle those times are to remember the good that came from it and move forward. That wasn’t always easy but if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have so many things to be grateful for.

I am glad about 2016 and am excited for 2017! What makes it better, is that my followers, supporters and patrons from Patreon, are here by my side! I can’t thank you guys enough for your encouragement and helping make all of this possible. I could just be sending words and pictures into the abyss of the internet, but you decided to stick around with me for my art and writing journey and that’s just amazing!

I hope you have a fun and safe evening bringing in the new year and as my husband would say “Happy New Year where the cubs won the world series since 1908″……..so there ya go! He’s always been a die hard fan!

Thank you all for being you! Happy New Year!

 

Want to have tips and tutorials to help you become a better artist? Or maybe you want a print every month of one of my art pieces? Come by my Patreon page and check out all the reward tiers or just make a donation, that is always appreciated!

Don’t forget to check out my coloring books that are still available on Amazon! Fun for Hours and Stressed Out!

 

 

So….where is Nell?

If you remember, a few posts back I wrote about a woman named Nell whose husband was ordered out of the house by a group of men from the military because the second civil war had finally broke out. She was distraught, helpless and confused. She couldn’t figure out what to do but knew that if she were to stay where she lived, she would die.

I got a great response and I had a few people say that they are ready for more! I even managed to get my husband excited about it, which may not be a big deal, but he prefers non fiction, sports and religious books. So for someone like him to like a story, it really needs to capture his attention. And to some writers, the interest of a few followers and a spouse isn’t something to get excited about. For me, it’s huge. I have taken the leap into sharing my stories and there are people who appreciate it. So I am going to keep following those dreams and turning them into goals!

So what is going on with Nell?

We left her driving away from the bomb that just detonated in her neighborhood and now has to find her way to the Midwest where the detachments are. At a security stop she ends with a man named Howard in her car and he basically takes over the talking to all the officers so no one suspects anything from either one of them. While they are driving on the highway, Nell notices that all the highway signs are painted four different colors, each representing one section of the country where everyone must go according to their political or wealth. Nell and Howard are headed to the Midwest to join the rest of the detachments, those who don’t have a preference of either political side.

The highway runs relatively smoothly but on occasion there is a rush of cars from one exit because of another explosion in another town. One point there are helicopters that will pick people up from cars that have been pulled over. Howard says they are being arrested, but Nell isn’t convinced of that. She still believes that any side of the government holds any power that high. Howard is constantly telling her that she is naïve and gullible and gives her the nickname ‘Gully’. To no one’s surprise, Nell doesn’t like that nick name and isn’t very fond of Howard.

 

Well that’s pretty much all I am going to write. At the advice of some friends and my husband, I need to turn this into a book. Fortunately, I have so much of it written that not only is it turning itself into a book that people are interested in reading, there is a way to make it into a series! I will be posting updates on the book and of Nell throughout my blog so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

In the illustration: It’s Nell and Howard. I didn’t want to have them in the car like most of their dialogue is upon their first meeting, so I went with her closer to the front and him in the background. I like the red pencil and ink. It was actually an accident when I found that technique. I was sketching ideas for another YouTube video and stumbled across it. Thoughts?

What do you think of Nell’s situation so far? What would you do?

Self Promoting Journey (plus TIPS!)

(Does anyone know where the image reference is from? I love that meme so I when I thought of this post, I figured that would be a good drawing! Share this with your friends to see if they get the reference)

On November 11th I made a pact with myself that I would promote my blog, channel, Instagram, facebook, coloring books, writing, nearly everything I have been working on at home for at least 20 minutes a day for a whole year. Not only is this a great challenge for me, but its a way for me to get in the habit of staying on top of my work from home.

I can say that for the last 3 weeks, I have been successful in building a bigger audience and making a little more money in my sales. I still have a long way to go, but I want to go ahead and give you a run down of what I have done and hopefully, if you are trying to find ways to build your business and marketing, then these tips can help. Or maybe they can encourage you to keep moving forward with your business and to know that your hard work will pay off (one day).

First my Instagram grew by over 100 followers. I was tempted to use those apps that allow you to like or follow other people and they do the same with your account. Seemed simple enough. But the thing is with those apps and programs, they aren’t genuine. Nobody actually cares about what you are putting out there or what you are selling. So how are those numbers mattering in any way? They don’t. If you want just numbers, then go for it. I heard it really works and it doesn’t take a whole lot of time. But to make money, you’ll need more than just numbers.

Since my Instagram is artwork and business related, I needed to network like a business, not a machine. I utilized hashtags all related to my artwork. If my drawing had a girl with blue hair, I would use #art #bluehair #blue, etc. Why? Because its all related to my picture in some way and like I have said before, there is an audience for everything out there. Then I would click on the hashtags that I used and go through other people’s post with the same. I would like and comment on pictures I actually liked or I would mention my artwork. I kept doing this and eventually I had people following and liking my posts.

My blog and YouTube grew by 10- 15 followers each in 3 weeks. To me, that’s huge. I applied the same method I did to Instagram to my blog and YouTube channel. Networking on these two platforms take more time and brain power honestly. I don’t like to just click ‘like’ on everything I come across or comment with ‘Nice’ ‘Interesting’ ‘Way to go’, because I want to show that I care about what other people are saying and doing. So honestly, if I don’t have the actual time or energy to invest into reading blogs and watching videos, then I just stick with Instagram.

Growing a good audience on a blog or a YouTube channel is really competitive now a days. Literally anyone that has a computer can do either of these two and post whatever they like. I make art videos and you know how many other artists are out there that are doing the exact same thing? A lot. So many great artists and we are all fighting to share our work with everyone. Same thing with a blog. Anyone can just write about how they feel on the internet and click post. But how does that relate to an audience? Who are you targeting? What’s the purpose of your videos and posts? These are important aspects of using these two platforms and will help you figure who to go for to network.

My Twitter feed has not done that well. I have gotten about 10 followers on there, but there isn’t a lot of interaction. I have the numbers but not so much the communication. Which is okay. I am not that active on there unless something is shared from another site or media outlet. If that were my only form of networking, I’d be a little discouraged. So for now, I can handle just the numbers until I find a way to work in networking on Twitter.

So I had to choose what I actually wanted for my business. Is it easier to work my blog? My YouTube Channel? A social media outlet? Should I network more than one? What kind I realistically do to manage my time? These are all questions I asked myself when I set my ‘year of networking’ goal. They weren’t easy and I had to do a bit of thinking to really get a feel of what I needed and I had to come up with a good plan to start with.

I hope you see what I have been doing to make more of an impression with my business and maybe these simple tips can help you also. I am not a professional marketer. Even if my husband is a natural born networker and can literally talk to anyone about anything, I am not good at it. And asking him to take on a third job of networking for me, isn’t on my agenda. This post is just about what I have been doing on my own and how/if it has helped me. If you have any special tricks you do, share them with in the comments below!

Happy Small Business Saturday!

www.facebook.com/madelynjanelle

www.instagram.com/madelynjanelleart

www.twitter.com/madelynjanelle

http://www.patreon.com/madelynjanelle

Fun For Hours coloring book- for those who enjoy a challenge for their coloring! https://smile.amazon.com/Fun-Hours-Madelyn-Janelle/dp/0997885211/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478490732&sr=8-1&keywords=fun+for+hours

Stressed Out! – For those who need to let out some anger without the profanity! https://smile.amazon.com/Stressed-Out-swear-phrases-profanity/dp/099788522X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478490861&sr=8-1&keywords=stressed+out+madelyn+janelle

 

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